I went to a lovely New Year's Eve party this year. It was a small get together at a friends house. A couple was there that I'd not seen since they found out they were pregnant with their first child over a year ago. The gorgeous little girl they have now is about six months old. The new mom and dad are struggling fiercely as new parents. They were both candid about the reality of having a new baby. This is an experience I'm very familiar with. It begs the question; is there a difference between what we want and how we want it to feel?
I asked the new mom if having a baby had turned out to feel very different than she had expected. Her response; 'I never considered how it would feel to have a baby.' She had researched what to buy and how to make feeding schedules and sleeping schedules and read all about the pros and cons of cloth versus disposable diapers. But, she had not considered how is was going to feel to have a baby in her life.
Chances are she did know how it was going to feel, just not consciously. These huge milestones and accomplishments in life are not sought after by chance. We want babies. money, education or whatever it is, because of how we expect it to make us feel. Just like these new parents, we rarely line up what we want with how we would like to feel. Often there is a huge disparity between what we want and how we want to feel.
There's a theory I have and a lot of other folks share it too. The theory is; that if we know what we are wanting, we are more likely to find it. I often wonder why more people don't talk with a counselor even when they are struggling. This isn't meant to be a pitch, it just leads to the point that culturally we often assume that we already know how we feel, what's driving us and why we want what we want. By and large, we don't. I have a little exercise I do to help me make choices that are going to most effectively get me a life that feels the way I'd like it to.
Here is the simple exercise. You can do in your car (people will probably just assume you're singing to the radio). Say out loud to yourself; When I get _____I will feel______. There could easily be several blanks after feel. Challenge yourself to use actual feeling words. An example would be; When I get a good job I will feel secure and proud of ability to contribute. Even more vulnerable would say: I will feel safe and valuable. Saying it out loud changes the way we experience it. Even though its a little off to talk out loud to yourself, I highly recommend it.
Once you know how you bring your subconscious desire for a particular emotional experience to light, you can use your conscious mind to look for things that make you feel that way.
Good luck and may your new year feel like you're hoping it will.